Dear Friend and fellow Celt,
As we continue to explore the richness of Celtic spirituality, we cannot overlook the importance of holy wells. These sacred sites were revered by our Celtic ancestors as places of healing, purification, and spiritual renewal. Today, holy wells continue to be cherished as a source of inspiration and connection to the divine.
The significance of holy wells in Celtic culture dates back centuries. The Celts believed that these natural springs were inhabited by spirits and deities, and that they held the power to heal the body, mind, and soul. As a result, many holy wells were considered to be portals to the Otherworld, where the gods and goddesses resided.
In addition to their spiritual significance, holy wells were also important social and cultural centers. Communities would gather at these sites for special occasions, such as festivals and weddings. Many wells were also believed to have the power to predict the future, and people would come from far and wide to seek their guidance.
Today, many people still visit holy wells for spiritual and healing purposes. Some holy wells have been preserved as national monuments, while others have been incorporated into Christian or pagan religious practices.
Before I give you a few key elements to creating your own sacred or holy well, I want to tell you the story of mine. Or at least the one I have the greatest connection with.
You see, following my Fox ancestral lineage back (previously Carney before the family split into two branches), in the 5th Century, one of my ancestors gifted the man who would later be St. Colmcille (St. Columba) with a large plot of land in what is now County Offaly.
Colmcille went on to found the Durrow Monastery on this land. And it grew into a typical Irish monastery, a center of religion, education, and commerce, but most importantly, their was a Celtic sacred well on land which became known as St. Colmcille's Holy Well.
But that wasn't the end of my ancestors' relationship to Durrow Monastery.
As is custom, by gifting the monastery land to St. Colmcille, the family became the protectors of the monastery.
So in 1186, when the First Viceroy of Ireland, Hugh DeLacy, seized the Durrow Monastery and commenced building a mote castle on the grounds right near the holy well. The family could not allow this.
The leader of the family, know as An Sionnach ("The Fox"), instructed his step-son, Giollaghanathair, to assassinate DeLacy.
Giollaghanathair posed as a stone mason working on the castle. On July 25th, after work was done for the day, Giollaghanathair told DeLacy he had to show him a problem with one of the walls.
When instructed, DeLacy stuck his head out over the wall to inspect the problem.
At that moment, Giollaghanathair pulled out a hidden axe and took DeLacy's head clean off!
Giollaghanathair then jump the wall and made his way back to the heart of Fox territory.
So, I feel a particular connection to St. Colmcille's holy well. I visited it once but was short of time to go down into it and get some sacred water.
I can't wait to go back again and have a proper visit!
For those who are interested in creating their own sacred/holy well, there are a few key elements to consider.
Firstly, it is important to find a natural spring or water source. This can be a small stream, a natural spring, or even a fountain. Once you have identified your water source, you can create a sacred space around it. This might include stones or crystals, flowers, and other natural elements that are meaningful to you.
Next, you can set an intention for your holy well. This might be a specific prayer or affirmation, or simply a general intention for healing, peace, or spiritual growth. You may also wish to include offerings, such as coins, flowers, or other symbolic items.
Finally, it is important to honor and respect the sacredness of the space. This might involve regular maintenance and cleaning, as well as observing any local regulations or traditions associated with the site.
Creating your own holy well can be a powerful and transformative experience. By connecting with the natural world and the divine, you can tap into the ancient wisdom and magic of Celtic spirituality.
On Monday, May 1, 2023, I released my free guide, "10 Celtic Practices to Level Up Your Mind and Relieve Anxiety and Depression."
All subscribers were sent their very own copy of my Celtic goodness. If you did not receive it, please let me know, and I will make sure that you do. You can contact me at email@example.com.
Also, if you know someone else who might be interested, please direct them to http://join-free-guide.mikeguarneri.com . Here they can sign up and receive their very own copy of the guide.
I am here to serve.
With a skeptical mind and an analytical eye,
"May the Road Rise to Meet You!"
Who is Mike?
Mike is a recovering accountant making his way through the world of Druid, Celtic, and Pagan traditions.
His goal is to uncover truly valuable Celtic, Druid, and Pagan practices that upgrade your mind (and life)—and here's the key—without any of the b.s. you find everywhere else!
P.S. - My awesome interview with Eimear Burke, Chief of the Order of Bard, Ovates, and Druids, is available on YouTube and your favorite podcast platforms. Check it out, you won't regret it!